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Showing posts from February, 2015

Dark Ritual by Patricia Scott

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Dark Ritual by Patricia Scott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kindle Edition, 199 pages
Published December 21st 2014 by Endeavour Press
(first published in 2007 as "Demise of a Dollybird")

A fast entertaining British police procedural. I picked this up when it was offered as a freebie on Kindle and am pleased to have found this gripping tale. Starting off with a murder that has all the signs of a pagan harvest sacrificial ritual, police have plenty of suspects who were not keen on the young journalist snooping around the small village's secrets and affairs. The book combines a police force team headed by an amiable DCI who takes up with a widowed police officer's wife who becomes his sounding board. This is a great pairing that lends an air of both the police procedural with the amateur cozy sleuth putting their heads together. I was utterly in the dark on figuring out who the perpetrator was until the twist near the end, then I must admit it became clear to me how the twist…

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

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The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paperback, 223 pages
Published August 1st 1993 by Dell Publishing Company
(first published 1958)

This is about the third time I've read this book, but the first time giving a review. My rating is based upon this reading. I loved this book as a child and it always held special memories for me. I read it aloud about 17 years ago to one of my sons and I enjoyed it well that time also. It makes for a fine read-aloud and I got caught up in my listener's enthusiasm. This time though, reading independently as an adult I found the story somewhat slow, more of a romance than I had remembered, with a quiet plot yet extremely well-written and an easy read with flowing language. Despite the title, the book does not take place in Salem nor have a genuine plot about the Puritan witch trials. However, the fear of being thought a witch is always present in the background of the story and this is brought to a climax…

Everything I Need to Know About Love I Learned From a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow

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Everything I Need to Know About Love I Learned From a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 96 pages
Published December 23rd 2014 by Golden Books

Little Golden Books


Wonderful book for grown-ups who love Little Golden Books. The story is not for children. It is a sweet story about grown-up love, about feeling like you'll never meet the right person, how dating can be glamorous but sometimes the simple dates are the best, when you do find true love don't leave your friends behind, then it discusses all the wonderful things that love is, and how love can end suddenly, shockingly, but it will come again, put on your big girl panties and take a chance on love again! So sweet and cute. Each page is an illustration from an old LGB from the 40-60s with all the famous artists represented and some I'd never heard of before. Each page tells you the book the illustration is from. I liked this just as much as the Christmas one! Lovely to browse through …

Dear Canada: A Desperate Road to Freedom: The Underground Railroad Diary of Julia May Jackson, Virginia to Canada West, 1863-1864 by Karleen Bradford

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A Desperate Road to Freedom: The Underground Railroad Diary of Julia May Jackson, Virginia to Canada West, 1863-1864 by Karleen Bradford

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 240 pages
Published June 2009 by Scholastic Canada

Dear Canada Series

Karleen Bradford is a well-known and talented Canadian historical fiction writer for youth and teens. Needless to say, this is an entertaining and interesting addition the Dear Canada series. This particular book could be best suited to the younger end of the 8-12 age range as it is a basic story of American slaves escaping using the Underground railroad, then the troubles and successes they experience settling down in a community in Canada. The majority of the book takes place in Owen Sound, Ontario. The only weakness is that this story only barely touches upon the horrors the slaves endured and the 'escape'/Underground Railroad part of the story is over by page 25. The rest of the book deals with their Canadian experience. Bradford does m…

How I Stole Johnny Depp's Alien Girlfriend by Gary Ghislain

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How I Stole Johnny Depp's Alien Girlfriend by Gary Ghislain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hardcover, 174 pages
Published June 8th 2011 by Chronicle Books

I was completely smitten with this book for middle-graders. I wish I hadn't taken so long to get around to reading it. The unique plot involves a visiting alien whom a step-brother/sister duo tries to help whilst risking their own lives and sanity in the process. Lots of laughs, a whirlwind of action and blooming romance. These types of boy/girl fantasies are quite the norm, but this one does provide uniqueness with it's setting in the Parisian countryside of France and the capital city itself. Whilst the odd involvement of Johnny Depp is a story grabber and all three main characters, Frog, Malou and Zelda bloom and grow throughout the story. I enjoyed the fast-paced, high-quality writing and would read this author again. A wild, funny and meaningful ride for MGs and YAs. The author is Parisian-American and due to this my warni…

Counting Churches: The Malta Stories by Rosanne Dingli

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Counting Churches: The Malta Stories by Rosanne Dingli

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kindle Edition, 188 pages
Published (first published March 21st 2011)


This collection of short stories just barely reaches a three for me as the author's writing style and subject are just not what I'm after as a reader. I was interested in the book to start with as I like books set in exotic locations and knew nothing of Malta previously plus I'm an avid short story reader. The author is a fine writer; her writing is serene, haunting and lyrical. But the tales are mostly descriptive and telling with often no pretense of even a plot or only a small incidental one. When the stories are describing all that is seen, heard and smelled they tend towards character studies, which I am generally fond of, however these characters are quiet ones going about their quotidian lives. Then most stories, until the last few, would suddenly end, abruptly, out of the blue. As I said, they just were not for me, not…

Forsaking Home by A. American

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Forsaking Home by A. American

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 416 pages
Published June 24th, 2014 by Plume

Home Survival series (4)


I love this series and book 4 was just as much of a pleasure as I was expecting. The writing has improved as the series progressed; and while I loved the action-packed gung-ho attitude of the first two books, at this point there is a lot more character development, personal interaction and emotional experiences between the characters. All the characters from previous books are present here (the ones who've made it alive to this point LOL) and I felt right at home with this motley crew of army men, survivalists, male and female, along with a few of their teens and children. There is a culmination of the plot that has been driving the series all along and the book finishes up on a satisfactory note that feels like the end as we imagine these people going on to live in and shape this new world they are now a part of. I'd be satisfied with this as a…

My Pa the Polar Bear by Jackie French

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My Pa the Polar Bear by Jackie French

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Paperback, 128 pages
March 12th, 2015 by HarperCollins
(first published in Australia January 1st, 2007)

Wacky Families (8)


I can't recommend this book. I've read a few others in the series and thought they were cute and silly. This one started off with a unique "wacky "family that I thought was going to be my favourite of them all. Then it went downhill. Briefly, the book is full of the alarmist global warming nonsense making wild statements about this political topic designed to scare and frighten the audience, small children. Outrageous "facts" are presented and during the story "global warming" is a thing that happens right before your eyes as a massive event. 'nuff said. On top of that a big deal is made of hard it is to find the polar bears because of the white bears against their white environment, but there are so many varying factors, including time of year, that go into what…